Exciting contest on the cards at Kotla
New Delhi: Sparks are set to fly at the Feroz Shah Kotla today when table toppers Delhi Daredevils clash with second-placed Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League.
It will be exciting stuff as India openers Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir pit their wits against each other.
The teams have similar records, Delhi with 16 points from ten games and Kolkata having played a game more for 15 points.
The Daredevils have been the team to beat this season and are on a four-game winning streak. The Knight Riders, after a slow start, have won five consecutive matches. The last time the two teams met at the beginning of the season, Delhi triumphed in a rain-shortened match by eight wickets.
The Daredevils though will have to contend with the departure of batsman Kevin Pietersen.
The Englishman played his last game in the tournament at Jaipur in the six-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals.
Pietersen, who has scored 305 runs this season, has left to fulfill international commitments.
First IPL match
Filling Pietersen's boots is explosive Australian David Warner, who will be playing his first IPL game this season today.
The Knight Riders will once again rely on skipper Gambhir, who played for Delhi in the first three seasons, to give them a good start. Gambhir has been in sparkling form and is the third-highest run-scorer with 421.
Gambhir has pulled KKR out of the rut they have been in for the last four years. They struggled to stay afloat and were dogged by controversy, a fact openly acknowledged by co-owner Shah Rukh Khan.
Spinner Sunil Narine has been a revelation for Kolkata, picking up 13 wickets with an economy rate of 5.25.
Delhi captain Sehwag, meanwhile, is looking to notch his sixth consecutive half century.
The opener has been in great touch and with 445 runs, just 18 runs behind orange cap holder Ajinkya Rahane of Rajasthan.
Daredevils' South African import Morne Morkel will be the danger man for the visitors. The lanky pacer is the purple cap holder with 19 wickets at an average of 14.
Delhi will also hope New Zealand captain Ross Taylor can hit form. He has looked out of sorts and with the departure of Pietersen will be under added pressure.